Richard Neal Set To Succeed Sandy Levin As Ways And Means Ranking Member

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter

Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal is slated to succeed House Ways and Means Ranking Member Sandy Levin next year as the top Democrat on the powerful committee, having won the party’s Steering and Policy Committee vote Friday.

Levin initially endorsed Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra, a California Democrat, but got behind Neal after the Becerra announced he was leaving Congress after being offered the position of California attorney general Thursday.

Neal was unopposed in the race after Becerra announced his exit. Levin announced he wouldn’t seek another term as ranking member Tuesday, saying he wanted to make room for younger members and direct his focus on health care, trade and tax reform.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady congratulated his Democratic colleague on his new position, saying he is looking forward to working together on fixing the tax code.

“Richie Neal and I have worked together for years on issues that will improve the lives of all Americans. He has an impressive understanding of the complex legislation considered by our committee and a sincere commitment to solving problems,” Kevin Brady said in a statement. “Whether it’s improving our broken tax code or ensuring equal treatment by Social Security for all workers, he’s always been willing to lead on a range of consequential policy issues. I’m pleased to congratulate him on his new position as Ranking Member.”

The Steering Committee renominated House Financial Services Ranking Member Maxine Waters,  Appropriations Ranking Member Nita Lowey and Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone.

“The bold strategic insight in our Steering & Policy Committee leadership will give our Caucus a strong foundation to succeed in the tough battles for hard-working families ahead,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “Together with the energy, expertise and ideas of the Ranking Members nominated for the approval of the Caucus, Democrats are stepping forward to champion the priorities of American people.”

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